State of Embarrassment — New York - Pacific Standard

State of Embarrassment — New York

How rampant corruption, a governor's affair with a prostitute and the fall of "America's Cop" affect the citizen embarrassment level in New York.
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You've Probably Heard About: The rampant corruption. Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer consorted with prostitutes; his replacement, David Paterson, dropped out of a troubled re-election race when a top aide was accused of a domestic violence cover-up involving the state police; state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno was convicted of federal corruption charges; and state Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi resigned after admitting he hired a state worker to drive his wife around. (Note: The list goes on and on.)

But Did You Know: Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik, hailed as “America’s Cop” after 9/11, went to prison earlier this year for getting a free renovation on his Bronx apartment from a New Jersey company with alleged ties to organized crime and lucrative city contracts up for review.

They Said It: “The [sentencing] guidelines don’t take fully into account the operatic proportions of this case.” — Judge Stephen Robinson, explaining why he sentenced Kerik to more than the recommended time because of the “immeasurable” harm caused by his decade-long pattern of corruption and obstruction of justice.

The Silver Lining: Hey, at least, Kerik had a nanny scandal before he could be appointed head of Homeland Security. And if Enron: The Play couldn’t make it, we’re pretty sure Bernard B. Kerik: The Opera is not coming to Broadway anytime soon.

Citizen Embarrassment Level: In the “getting sloshed enough at the office party to make an ill-advised pass at your boss” zone. Human Resources will be calling in the morning.

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